Ups & Downs Of 2017

I don’t know about you, but I feel like this year has absolutely flown by. More so than usual! To be fair I’ve crammed a lot into this wonderful year perhaps making it seem faster paced. Always a nerd for reflection and gratitude I thought I’d type out the ups and downs, even if only for my reference!

In January I began with an emotional breakdown and had hit rockbottom. The year wasn’t off to a very good start at all. I had just moved back from living in Canada for two and a half years and my mental health was at it’s all time low. I turned 24 and everything was turning to shit. My physical health, my mental health, my relationships and my goals. In one final push I decided to get my self back on my self-love and care track (with the help of some very supportive family members). It was hard. But so, so worth it.

I got a job as an International Ambassador through a volunteer organisation, Reach Out Volunteers. I would go around to different universities in Australia presenting our programs to rooms of hundreds of people trying to recruit them onto programs. Something I couldn’t ever fathom doing with my crippling social Anxiety that had taken over my life at the beginning of the year. But I did! And gained such amazing confidence and life skills from that particular job.IMG_0323

I got hit by a bus whilst driving in Sydney recruiting. Quite possibly the scariest moment of my life so far. Both myself and my recruiting partner were pretty much totally fine. I was knocked out and had a pretty nasty concussion and wound to the back of my head. When I came to I started going into shock, I couldn’t feel my hands and feet. Several beautiful strangers came to our aid, held my hand and calmed me down until the ambulance came. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers and always pay it forward!
I remember just as the bus was about to hit me though, I had a bit of an epiphany. I thought “This is going to fucking hurt”, “my poor mother” and “I want to practice Yoga alllll the time”IMG_0336

I visited South Island New Zealand in a van with some amazing souls. I never had any desire to travel to New Zealand, but surprisingly it now has my heart! It has beaches and mountains and adventure. It blew me away, and it’s just a quick little flight across the ocean to get there.IMG_0470

 

Through recruiting with Reach Out Volunteers, I then got the best job in the world: Team Leading volunteer programs for three months in Cambodia! It was hands down the most challenging job that I’ve ever had. It pushed me and required confidence, organisation, and all my energy. I loved every single second of it.

 

Things went wrong (such is life) like with 24 volunteers on a bus we got a flat tire and had to hitch hike up a mountain, volunteers got sick and I got sick. Whilst working on an elephant sanctuary I was stung by a scorpion (one of the most painful sensations I’ve felt) and my foot got infected and swelled to a ridiculous size!

 


Things also more often than not went very right! I got to swim with baby elephants, build classrooms and water catchments for struggling Cambodian communities, I contributed to marine conservation efforts by building an artificial reef and I did it all with some of the most amazing, generous and big hearted volunteers, some of which I hope I’ll know forever. Cambodia and the Cambodian people will also always have a special place in my heart.

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Had my heart broken for the billionth time. Repaired it and found love within myself instead for the definitive and final time. Lessons were learnt and I still refuse to be hardened by someone elses lack of compassion. “In the end only three things matter; how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you” Buddha.

I Left the best job in the world which was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Continuing my personal growth, I then went on to complete my Yoga Teacher Training in India. A country that I’ve always wanted to visit and a culture I’ve always wanted to immerse myself in.

 

At this point in the year, I had had diarrhoea for four months! From all the different places I had travelled I had obviously picked up something not so pleasant in my stomach. I got super sick and lost too much weight.
Not quite ready to return home, I ticked off a very old bucket list item and visited Nepal to trek the Annapurna Circuit. Trekking through the Himalayas for two weeks was one of the most incredible, challenging and rewarding tasks I’ve set myself, and gave me the confidence to want to conquer other mountains in my life (literally and metaphorically)

 

I shit the bed for the second time in my adult life, suffering still from some sort of stomach infection. I finally made the switch to a completely Vegan diet (for environmental and ethical reasons also) and I have never felt this good. I wish I made the switch years ago. I have for the first time in my life that I can remember, a really healthy relationship with food.
I returned home and started teaching Yoga as a qualified teacher through my own little business baby “Ramble Om”. I’ve found my passion, my “thing” and I’m so happy that I get to sink my teeth into as many opportunities I can through Yoga. I never thought I’d be a teacher of any sort to be honest, but I love it and for now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Yoga gives me a peace that I never thought I could reach, especially not at the beginning of this year! It’s a peace that I want to help others discover and obtain.

 

Ups and Downs, Highs and Lows. I hope that 2018 provides me with all the more challenges, lessons and triumphs,

2017 you were kind to me, but more importantly, I was kind to myself.

Love & Light,
Claire.

You have a treasure within you that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer” –Eckhart Tolle

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